UFC News: “War Machine” Facing 7 Years For Assault

war machine

war machine

The Ultimate Fighter season 6 veteran Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver was arraigned in San Diego Superior Court on Felony Assault and Battery charges.

The professional cage-fighter is accused of hitting and choking a Las Vegas man unconscious and hitting him in the face outside San Diego’s Undisputed fitness and training center early Sept. 2.

Apparently, Zatkow suffered four fractures to his eye socket in the beating and could have permanent nerve damage.

He said he was confronted by a group of men without shirts who surrounded him as he left the club. He said he was grabbed in a carotid choke hold and dragged a few feet from his friends by one of the men. Zatkow said he did not see who grabbed him from behind.

Zatkow, who practices martial arts but has never competed in tournaments, said he became unconscious 10 seconds after he was choked and regained consciousness moments later.

Friends of Zatkow’s who testified said he was punched in the face while he lay unconscious on the ground. Zatkow, however, said he was not aware of the punch until after he became conscious and felt the pain in his face.

If the charges stick, War Machine could serve a maximum of 7 years in prison.

Did we expect anything different from War Machine, TUF exposed this guys mental weakness. Like he said on the show, “I’m my own worst enemy”.


  1. dane drebin

    December 13, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    that sucks he had such a great fight on the finale!

  2. kom34

    December 13, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Perfect…he can bunk with Emerson as the UFC's all time screw-ups….

  3. JOE

    December 13, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    I wonder why he did that (If it's true). Does anyone know the whole story?

  4. derek

    December 13, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    what an idiot. him and rob emerson. these guys have (or had) bright futures until this.

  5. Morey

    December 14, 2007 at 2:48 am

    He'll probably be cleared of the charges. The witness to the crime said another person did the damage to the guy. Whoever did it was really f'd up though. They choked the guy unconscious and then beat his face in.

  6. WTF

    December 14, 2007 at 3:24 am

    Dana needs to step up here. This is a professional sport and not only is he is letting these ass clowns do whatever they want, he is encouraging it. Look at the conditions he creates on TUF, the advertisements they show. We all saw the adds all season long for when jrock goes bonkers after the upperdecker incident. How Mac bullies everyone. Dana is glamorizing this out of control thug behavior. Hopefully Dana realizes that a lot of guys in this sport are not mature, do not know how to live in a civilization and helps them deal with their gifts as fighters, the fame that comes with tv, and the money they now have.

  7. derek

    December 14, 2007 at 4:50 am

    yeah it is sad. dana used to sell the MMA sport by saying that the quality of the people are better in MMA than in boxing. he said liddel has a college degree, couture was a star wrestler who was an olympic alternate, etc… intelligent people who like to compete. he also said that most boxers are people who take up boxing because they need to make money. and now it looks like the ultimate fighter is taking up bums and just punks from the street like war machine.

  8. Realwun

    December 14, 2007 at 5:08 am

    I agree with you guys. What they tell them on the show is that the house is more like a TV set and that they can basically trash it if they wanted to…aside from breaking windows and things like that. Then they put alcohol in there…stocked to the brim. Then they keep the losers of the show so they can act like fools. But all in all, Dana isn't the problem, he just does what the people want…..and what people want is drama. Thats also why half the fighters on that show are there for comic relief or to start shit.

  9. Realwun

    December 14, 2007 at 5:09 am

    The fighters that I have seen that pick a lot of fights on the street are the ones that can't hack it against real fighters. You'll never see a champion do that.

  10. derek

    December 14, 2007 at 5:22 am

    what i want to see is a new show called The Ultimate Champion… where they put all the current champs and former champs in one big house and compete in a big elimination style tournament. it would be interesting to see matt hughes, serra, GSP, randy, liddell, silva, etc all live together. too many egoes.

  11. nate

    December 14, 2007 at 8:25 am

    The guy sucked any way he just fight someone who sucked just as bad as he did thats why it was a good fight.

  12. tom

    December 14, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    i think ur a retart nate.. jrock and war r good ass fighter. they both made the ufc and TUF show.. i think this is bs that War did this and i hope he doesnt get into trouble cuz he is young and he could be really good one day in the sport, he was well rounded..

  13. planet

    December 15, 2007 at 3:42 am

    war machine and co. were a bit provoked from other articles that describe the situation. I'm not sure why this one left out that the victim admits to provoking them being that he was drunk, making hand gestures, and calling them tough guys. none the less war machine is in the wrong as he committed a crime, a brutal one, but there's no need to leave out key facts in an article in order to prove your biased point at the end. i don't know the rest of the details but i hope he gets back in the octagon

  14. MIKES.V

    December 16, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    He will be fine, they will drop it to a misdamenor. The guy did provoke it. Im a friend of jons from his hometown. Im sure everybodys made mistakes on this page but you all just like to hate on people that make it to where you wish you could. War Machine will continue to do well in this sport

  15. JOE

    December 16, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Actually, I don't think anyone wants to "hate on" Jon. I think the people being critical of Jon's "mistake" are probably right on the money. He may be young but he's old enough to know better.

    Jon is a professional fighter. As a professional fighter, one tends to have a lot more skill than the average person when it comes to inflicting damage to someone. With that skill comes the responsibility to control yourself. If I walked out of a grocery store and choked out a guy in the parking lot because he was drunk and provoking me, I doubt a lot of these guys would make excuses for me.

    I don't think he deserves a free pass just because he's a "good fighter" or he has a bright future in a certain sport. I think the law needs to be equally applied. The bottom line is, I don't "hate on" him, but I think everyone should be held accountable for their wrongdoings. If this is the path he continually chooses, he will NOT continue to do well in this sport.

  16. dane drebin

    December 17, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    i dont know the whole story or the facts so i cant judge but it sucks when ur caught up in a bad crowd hopefully he learns from this and gets a second chance… i think he seemed like a pretty good person, and has a lot of talent… dont hangout with people who have nothing to lose if you do have something to lose…. cuz they will lose it for u

  17. Steve

    December 18, 2007 at 5:02 am

    "jrock goes bonkers after the upperdecker incident. How Mac bullies everyone."

    Nonsense. What are you possibly talking about?? Because JRock raised his voice a little bit after what happened, he's not a "quality" guy? How would you react? He didn't even use violence!! A guy can't shout a little now without being a bad guy? What a joke. And "Mac bullies everyone"??? That comment makes absolutely no sense at all. Mac is unfriendly, but what in the world does that have to do with this at all??


  18. tom

    December 18, 2007 at 7:12 am


  19. derek

    December 18, 2007 at 8:12 am

    dude man, upperdecker is nasty. i've never had it done to me, but i've seen one done to someone. it smells, horribly. jrock had every reason to get mad. as for war machine, well, his antics led him to jail…. eventually

  20. annie

    December 21, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    i dont think that Jon should be charged with anything

    In my opinion it was self defense and he shouldnt be going nowhere except back to the UFC to fight!

  21. Morey

    December 21, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    I think that too because I'm hearing the guy was drunk and provoking. I don't think Jon is the one who bashed his face in while unconscious. Whoever did that should be in trouble.

  22. Dr. Bill Lockwood

    December 26, 2007 at 8:44 am

    It doesn't take much of a fighter to grab someone from behind and choke them out. 35 years ago, as young UMC's we used to practice it and laugh about it. Of course, it was the punch that was the most egregious action.

    Mr. Koppenhaver has crossed a boundary that few of us will ever come close to. He has fought in a cage before thousands of screaming fans. Do any of you realize the amount of training and stamina this requires? Most stagger to the start of our cars as we venture out of our protected lives.

    Did you read this guys philosophy? If it is a product of his own mind and writing, Mr. Koppenhaver is a first class thinker as well.

    No he did not throw the punch.

  23. Suacyde

    February 4, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Fuck all you pathetic losers talkin shit. Ill smash all you fuckin weak ass nobodys! Fuck with a Savage and you'll get smashed like Zatkow did! Only pussies press charges! Dieslow Haters! War Machine is a TRUE SAVAGE!

    – Suacyde

  24. patrickgamil

    February 4, 2008 at 6:06 am

    great Suacyde,

    that's absolutely fab!

    i'll meet you in back of the gay bar at 8pm ok?


    no witnesses , how do we know it was a punch. assault charges on the street of course have nothing to do with sport/MMA. If someone is accused of assault they should be tried/charged accordingly. no?

  25. Martina

    February 22, 2008 at 1:37 am

    If someone grabs you in a choke hold trying to subdue you into unconciousness, then what else are you doing to do but defend your life? You know this story could have turned out the other way; War Machine: DEAD. I think anyone stupid enough to try and mess with a known fighter has it coming to em. Especially after he just got done training. Lets focus on WHY War Machine was jumped in the first place people. That guy is lucky to have a couple facail fractures, serves him right. You know Jon could have snapped his effin neck.

  26. Tony

    October 20, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    War machine is a good fighter, so if any of you want to be calling him trash and saying shit. You go 3 rounds with him in the octagon, then well see who the fucking tuff guy is. this guy is an idle to me.

  27. dane drebin

    October 20, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    i like watchin war machine fight but he needs to stop talkin so much

  28. eva

    November 17, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    hola me gustaria poder platicar por via mail o msn con el peleador war machine ya que lo acabo de ver en mexico morelia un beo y espero alguien me ayude besos bye.

  29. zalbag

    November 17, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    me llamo Zalbag. me gusta MMA como se dice "u r possibly on the wrong website."

  30. Ryan S

    November 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Hablamos Ingles. Hablamos Espanol un poco. Por Favor para tu…..thoughts. CALAVERA CHINGA!!!!

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